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Nairobi attack: Moment Kenya mall terrorist executes shopper in cold blood

Nairobi attack: Moment Kenya mall terrorist executes shopper in cold blood | Als Return to Education |
The shocking footage, which emerged only yesterday, shows the moment terrified men, women and children run for their lives from the attackers
Al Picozzi's insight:

This just show how terrorism is a fact a life even in Africa.  The Somali based terror group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attck in response to Kenya attacking al-Shabab in Somalia.  Kenya said it attacked into Somalia in response to the terroist activity of al-Shabab.  It is a vicious circle.  Also it has come out that the terrorists did come there with the express purpose of killing non-Muslims as they let them identify themselves and leave the mall.  With Somalia still really lawless and no central governement it is likely these attacks will continue.  This will prompt Kenya, and I believe other countries in Africa to try and control these groups even if in Somalia.  This will just continue the cycle.  The first step to stop this is to get a government in Somalia.  In a related story, see the FM of Kenya states the the group al-Shabab is under the control of al-Qaeda which shows that this group is still very active.

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Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash

Somalia's Pirates Face Growing Backlash | Als Return to Education |
Abshir Boyah, a pirate who says he has hijacked more than 25 ships off the coast of Somalia, says he will give up this career if certain terms are met.


What economic, cultural and political circumstances in the 21st century would allow for piracy to exist?  What are the impacts of piracy on Somalia?  

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Much like the piracy in the Caribbean in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries it is done in order to gain wealth and by the looks of it, fame.  They are called Pirate Kings in the video by the New York Times.  Again much like the pirate kings of the Caribbean.  Here however they are willing to give it up in order to better their country with the help of the internation community, the pirates of the Caribbean didn't have a country and they liked it that way.  However, it was tried in the early 1990's to help allievate the food and humanitarian suffering.  However the warlords of the time, especailly Aideed, saw their power, as well as their money, disappearing, so they fought this relief effort and kept Somalia in the dangerous situation it is in today.  So you have to ask the question: Can you take the pirates seriously that they want to change??  Past history says no.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 4:25 PM

Somalia's pirates are notorious worldwide, and while the pirates may be committing horrible crimes, it is important to understand why these people have turned to illegal means to survive. The economic state of Somalia is rather grim. Considered a textbook "failed state", men for the most part have to choose between working as a fishermen or turning to piracy. Since fishermen barely scrape a living from the waters, Somalian men turn to piracy. With no other economic opportunities, it is often seen as the only choice. Many Somali pirates openly admit that if they had other options, they would absolutely change occupations. 

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:17 PM

The media oftentimes demonizes specific groups of people. So I was presently surpassed that the NYT’s investigated the human aspect of desperation. Many of these Somalians are hopeless and the economic burden on their shoulders drives them to act unethical. When you first priority is survival, courteousness and moral laws often don’t apply. Nevertheless, it was cool to hear about these human stories.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, March 31, 2015 7:37 PM

Just like the pirates of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, these folks bring all the vices of the originals except perhaps without much of the romanticism that comes with the elders. Though perhaps in two hundred years someone will make a movie titled Pirates of the Somalia featuring Johnny Depp's great-great-great grandson. 


It's understandable why these people want to get out of the business. Despite the sex and wealth they've gotten, it's not exactly stable employment. Nor is it as safe as sitting at a desk or being a plumber. But when your society simply doesn't support these industries, then the people are left to resort to more drastic measures.


It's also interesting to see the quazi-government stepping in to try and combat it. Traditional Muslim values are the reason for them wanting and end to it. It's understandable to not want children to look up to pirates and the life of crime they lead. But in order for the practice to stop, the pirates want international environmental protections, aid, and government support. Should the international community give into piracy or should it be removed by force?

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A stunning turn that could silence Syria war drums

A stunning turn that could silence Syria war drums | Als Return to Education |
While light on details, a Russian proposal for Syria to turn over chemical weapons shifts the war debate.

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

I understand the need to do something and I also understand why Americans do not want to do this.  However I believe something should be done as it seems we all are forgetting our history.  Does anyone remember 9/30/1938.  A speech given by then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain promised "...peace of our time."  He was talking about the Munich Agreement where Hitler promised that Czechoslovakia would be his last territorial grab.  Well we all know what that led to.  We cannot appease or let people get away with actions like this.  If he is allowed to use the gas on his own people whats to stop him from using it on Turkey, Israel or even in the US as part of a terrorist attack.  Just something else to think about .. an old quote which is a paraphrase, those who do not learn history will be doomed to repeat it.

Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 10, 2013 10:36 AM

The world is waiting to see how the drama in the Middle East unfolds.